Monthly Archives: February 2012

Sapa, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is very famous and an industry has been created to bring thousands of international tourists from Hanoi out to see the islands. Hundreds of buses and boats to bring everybody out to see this amazing site… the same with Sapa way up in the mountains near China.  I got an overnite bus to Sapa and when I got off the bus in Sapa a motorbike rider came up to me and said..”are you Robert Simpson?”.. He took me up to the Sapa Summit hotel and when I checked in there was a guitar in the lobby and I played and sang  “I still miss someone” and “I’m gonna live forever”… the hotel food was great.. I had a couple of great treks through several villages.  the treks were long and dangerous but when they were over I was so tired and proud of myself to accomplish these treks.  Sapa is an amazing place which I am sure will no longer exist as it is for much longer.  The local people are turning to tourism and away from traditional village life.

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my UK trekkers Sapa

At first I did not like Hanoi…that happens with many towns that I visit.. after a few days I began to like it.  I went to see the water puppet show…no strings.. the puppets are controlled under water by bamboo.  The traditional music was live and fantastic.

I hired another motorbike driver to take me around Hanoi.  I got to see some great museums and again some very old temples.  Hanoi has some great parks and plenty of lakes and rivers.  Not as many scooters as Saigon but they are working on catching up to them.

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my Hanoi fan club

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Hanoi

After a great  ride in the rain from Hue to the ocean, A nite sleeper bus to Hanoi, a trip over 500 kilometers, I arrived in the very cold city of Hanoi.  Before I left Hue I bought a warm Northface coat.

My hotel was ok… I bought a ticket for a 2 day trip to Ha Long Bay.  We took a 3 hour bus trip to the port and got on a wooden boat.  It was cold and rainy, but this was my time to be here.

We had a great lunch on the boat, and then visited a beautiful cave.

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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

It was exciting to ride through these islands..there are over 2,000 of them.  The people on board were great and our trip was cold but fun.

Now back in Hanoi… off to Sapa tomorrow nite.

off to Hanoi

It is getting to be a long march up to Hanoi. Nha Trang was a great party town.  Took two bike tours with Duc who works at the hotel. The rides were so good that I bought him two great meals. One was a seafood hot pot which is cooked at the table and the other one was great squid.  We had some rice wine with the lunch.. a nice buzz…

I bought a $6 boat trip which took me to 4 islands off the coast.  The tour leader looked like Obama and
started the trip by getting up in front of the boat and singing the theme from the Titanic (and very well).

The islands were beautiful..lunch on the boat was plain but good…then I got a surprise… the cook played an electric guitar, a drum set appeared and we got a Beach Boys concert on the boat.. our tour guide came out with a wig and made us all laugh.  I  ended up dancing Twist Again on the boat. Later they served drinks in a water bar…

Then I got a bus up to Hoian..this is an old international tourist place…famous for making clothes.  I got a motorbike ride up to the Danang beach and was surprised to see golf courses and very large hotels. It is starting to look like Florida here.

The bus ride up to Hue was beautiful..over mountains, through a long tunnel, and near the ocean.
After I checked into my hotel, I hired a bike rickshaw to take me across the river to see the Citadel… the home of the Emperor and his 500 wives!!!!I

Tomorrow night off on another bus ride to Hanoi. I will take a mototcycle trip outside of Hue. 

Still excited to be seeing so much of Vietnam… this is a great way to do this..not seeing too many Americans over here.

Return to Vietnam

The sleeper bus from Cambodia turned out to be a regular bus and it was another long ride to Ho Chi Mihn City. The city was full of flowers and the motor-bikes are still here. I walked to my hotel and the next day off to Vung Tau with Cuong, my friend.

We took a hydrofoil boat to the ocean resort. We rode around Vung Tau and saw a dragon show which is an Asian drum thing to celebrate the New Year. I really enjoyed a seafood dinner there.. a long time since I ate crab.

Noticed many new oil drilling going on near Vung Tau.  The are building many new hotels there.

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1930 French train station at Da Lat , Vietnam

I bought an open bus ticket to Hanoi and I plan to stop at 4 cities along the way…

first city was DaLat…the flower city.of Vietnam.  The french influence can be seen here.. this place is up in the misty mountains and is the honeymoon place for Vietnam. I got a driver to take me around for 2 days. I really like these little bike tours… got to see a very large happy Buddha..another waterfall, a cricket farm, a weasel coffee operation and a million coffee bushes..

After 3 days I took a 5 hr. bus ride out of the mountains down to the seaside resort city of Nha Trang. J Plenty of Russians here.  Hope to get some seafood here and take another boat ride.

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